Teams from the 249th Engineering Battalion, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers competed in the International Lineman's Rodeo at the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kansas, recently.
The four-day event brought in lineman from around the world and concluded with a competition in a variety of events designed to test a lineman's skills and abilities.
"This is the premiere event for power distribution," stated Lieutenant Colonel Dan Kent, Commander, 249th Engineering Battalion. "This competition broadens these soldiers' knowledge by allowing them to see what's going on in industry and allows them to stay current with industry. They also learn best safety practices which helps to keep them safe as they're doing their jobs."
Soldiers from the 249th competed in hurt man rescue, pole climb and two mystery events.
"I think it's awesome that we have the opportunity to come here and compete," stated Staff Sergeant Joseph Hak, Delta Company, 249th Engineering Battalion. "Although a lot of us are civilian linemen, we choose to come here and represent our unit, we choose to come here and compete on the grand stage for the Army because this is what we love to do."
In the military division of the competition, Delta Company, 249th Engineering Battalion earned first place. Alpha Company, 249th Engineering Battalion took home the second place prize and third place went to a team from Sheppard Air Force Base.
"Every single person here loves their job, they're good at their job," said Hak. "I'm just very fortunate to be able to do this as a civilian and as a Soldier."
"I am incredibly proud of our guys out here and glad that we have this opportunity for them to showcase their skills," said Kent. "It's a physically demanding job which also requires a lot of mental preparation. This event helps them keep their skills sharp and increases their readiness to answer the nation's call when and if required."
The 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) is assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They provide commercial-level power to military units and federal relief organizations during full-spectrum operations.